Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<

Trillian McMillian
Trillian McMillian
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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?

"50 First Dates"

Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Find State Officials
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or Search by State

Contact The Media
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or Search by State

Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)



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11/17/13 12/1/13 - 12/8/13 12/15/13 - 12/22/13 12/29/13 - 1/5/14 6/29/14 - 7/6/14 9/14/14 - 9/21/14 9/21/14 - 9/28/14 10/12/14 - 10/19/14 11/23/14 - 11/30/14 12/7/14 - 12/14/14 12/28/14 - 1/4/15 1/25/15 - 2/1/15 2/8/15 - 2/15/15 2/22/15 - 3/1/15 3/8/15 - 3/15/15 3/15/15 - 3/22/15 3/22/15 - 3/29/15 4/12/15 - 4/19/15 4/19/15 - 4/26/15 5/3/15 - 5/10/15 5/17/15 - 5/24/15 5/24/15 - 5/31/15 6/14/15 - 6/21/15 6/28/15 - 7/5/15 7/5/15 - 7/12/15 7/19/15 - 7/26/15 8/16/15 - 8/23/15 11/6/16 - 11/13/16 6/24/18 - 7/1/18

Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue


It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations

Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"

Mail Trillian here

Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)


Alliance for the Great Lakes

Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras

The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.

Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.


Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto


Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.

Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Life(?) of Trillian

Saturday, April 27, 2013  
Louis CK's latest HBO special has a segment on ugly people. I'm not taking Louis CK to task for this. He's a comedian, he is paid to make people laugh. A smart comedian knows to keep their material to universal truths in order to maximize their laughs and consequently, popularity and gig booking potential. Ugly people are universally funny. As the clip shows, his audience got a big laugh from his observation.

He is, of course, correct.

As one of the millions of people deemed physically unworthy of physical affection, I'm not offended by his bit. I am ugly. Men are not attracted to me. I am one of those women who has spent her entire dating-age life hearing, at best, "you have a great personality, I really like you, but not for anything more than friends. I'm not attracted to you," from men. At worst I've heard every insult and joke about appearance in the human language. I chose to accept it and gave up on dating, romance and mating. I'm in a better emotional place because of it. Men are not attracted to me. Period. It's disappointing, it hurts and it's lonely. But I understand why other people, normal-looking people, find it funny that there are people so ugly they can't get laid.

Two days after I saw Louis CK's bit about "me" and my kind, I was at a concert. It was my first night out in ages. A friend was visiting from out of town. She treated me to dinner, drinks and a concert. It was a huge deal for me. HUGE. Really huge. I don't have money for anything other than basics, so these kinds of evenings are a) distant memories or b) fantasies. The whole thing was made even more huge by the fact that I haven't seen my friend for a couple years, so I was very excited to see her and go out on the town. She was traveling sans husband and children, so it was going to be like old times. We have an impressive shared roster of live music in our past. We share taste in music and have suffered the same hearing loss in the pursuit of our love of live, loud guitars (and the men who play them).

In the two years since I last saw my friend she had some "work" done. I knew she had some, um, procedures, she was honest about it, but her honestly didn't soften the blow. She the last person I would have ever thought would even consider plastic surgery. But. She works in a youth-oriented industry so she feels compelled to fight/buy off the physical march of time. She was always curvy, and that's not a euphemism for fat, she was 34-22-34, Catherine Zeta-Jones curvy. And she was always very attractive so it's not as if she needs much work. As she says, everything's just lifted and smoothed back into its original position. But her hips and bum don't just look smaller, they look different. I think she's a bit young to even consider any kind of "work," but her theory (and apparently her plastic surgeon's theory) is that it's better to catch this stuff early rather than let it wait until it's way out of hand. She told me an added bonus has been the uptick in the action in the bedroom with her husband. They both feel sexier now that she's physically sexier. (her words, not mine) She's a couple years older than I am, but with her "work" and makeup and new hair color she looks a couple years younger than I am. To me it just seems like a lot of money and effort to only lose a few physical years and fit into a size smaller jeans. To each their own.

The crowd at the concert we attended was a mixed group, but primarily comprised of people older than us. Ten minutes after entering the venue a man hit on my friend. Mind you, she has an enormous and conspicuous wedding ring. Undaunted, this guy was flirting with her, offering to buy her a drink. She declined and we moved along. Another guy approached her. And then another. I was the invisible ugly friend. This is how it's always been when she and I go out. Men hit on her and ignore me. I'm used to it, I know what to expect. I also know middle aged men, post-divorce, are flying high on some kind of oblivion nectar that imbues them with an incredible (and overinflated) ego that makes them feel irresistible to women. All women. Even younger women. Even younger married women. I dunno. Whatever.

The concert was great, we were having a blast in the raucous part of the crowd. And then one of the guys my friend rebuffed made his way to us, plastic cups full of cheap beer in each hand. He had to pass between me and the crazily dancing people around us to sidle up to my friend. In doing so, he spilled one of the beers on me. I was covered in what I presume was Budweiser from neck to knee. Some of you might be thinking, "Wet t-shirt!!!" But trust me, no one present was thinking that. You might also think the man, a 50-something year old man, would, you know, apologize. But no.

He got mad at me, and, in a voice so loud it could be heard over the really loud guitars, he said, "Move, you fucking ugly cunt!" He put a pause and pronounced emphasis on the word ugly. The people around us heard him and turned to look at the guy, first giving him glares for the loud obscene insult, but then they saw me, and apparently agreed with his assessment, and laughed at me. And then they went on fist pumping the air to the bass rhythm. My friend was angry at him but then got a look at me with my beer soaked shirt and laughed, too. She apologized, but still, she laughed. I'm sure I was a funny sight. But she could have laughed, you know, later, like the next day. Or at least after the guy who called me a fucking ugly cunt had been shot down and left the area. The guy took her laughter as a green light to continue to shove past me stand between my friend and me, laughing at me.

I wasn't going to let this guy ruin my first night out in ages, and if my married friend wanted to hang out with a rude, immature old guy, that's her business. Getting mad wasn't going to solve anything. The damage was done, I was beer soaked and deemed a fucking ugly cunt, my friend and the immediate crowd agreed and got a good laugh out of my beer soaked appearance, and that was that. So I just tried to roll with it.

But Feeling like Carrie at the prom is kind of a buzz kill. I'd been lost in the music, carefree and having a blast, the first time in...well, geeze, years, and then blam! the spell was broken. Back to reality.

I knew I shouldn't let any of it get to me, but the stench of the beer and my friend laughing at me, well, it did get to me. Maybe if the guy hadn't lingered and staked his claim on my friend I would have swept it all aside more quickly, but he was standing between me and my friend, yelling stuff in her ear, pretending he knew about guitars (he did not) trying to impress her. 

When the concert ended and the final bows were taken, we left with the throng of people exiting the venue. We got separated but thanks to my height I could see her ahead of me, so when I had the chance I bounded up to her in the lobby. She was talking to the guy who spilled beer on me. Great. I stopped bounding and just kind of hovered while she and the guy talked. Apparently he wanted to go for drinks because I heard her said, "...we have plans." To which he said, "Bring her, the more the merrier!" She then pointed toward me. He turned and saw me - the fucking ugly cunt who got in his way - and his convivial demeanor dropped. More is apparently not merrier when the more in question is me. He seemed genuinely shocked. "You're with her?! She's your friend?! I thought you meant the chick on the other side of you!!"

I told her she could do whatever she wanted, I was going home to get out of the beer soaked clothes. And no,  I was not sarcastic or nasty about it. I meant it, she could do whatever she wanted. In fact I kind of wanted her to go out with this guy because I was sort of bothered by her laughing at me and encouraging the guy who called me a fucking ugly cunt and I didn't want to pretend we were fine when one of the we, me, was not fine. When we made our roster for the evening we planned to go out for drinks after the show. It was part of the night's agenda. But the beer soaked clothes and my general feeling of humiliation and ugliness sapped my enthusiasm for our post-concert plans.

She hesitated, "No, no, Trill let's go back to my hotel, I have something you can wear (turning to the guy) and then we can meet up for drinks!"

I did not want to meet up with this guy, and I really did not want to be part of whatever my friend was considering to do behind her husband's back. None of my business.

So I made polite goodbyes and headed to the bus stop. My friend and the guy got into a cab.

You know you're an ugly disaster when people on a bus heading toward the not-so-great part of town at 11:30 at night stare at you and give you "eww, gross" looks.

I saw my friend the next day. I didn't ask. She didn't tell. The guy we were avoiding discussing spilled a beer on me and called me a fucking ugly cunt and she, a married woman, got into a cab and left with him. There's a whole lot of awkwardness and ill-will packed between the lines of that sentence.

When it comes to any situation other than my professional pursuits/life, I strive to be invisible, just blend in and go unnoticed. That's the main goal when you're ugly. You don't want to be noticed for your ugliness, you just want to be not noticed at all. Because there's never a positive reason you're noticed. When you're ugly, no one notices your green eyes or nice smile, or if they do, at best they might offer fleeting pity. "She has pretty colored eyes/a nice smile, too bad about the rest of her." I know this because I've heard this. Many, many (many) times. Pretty colored eyes or a nice smile are not enough to excuse or compensate for the rest of you.

It's okay to laugh at ugly people because we don't have feelings. We don't date, we don't get married, we don't have children, as Louis CK points out, we don't have sex, we don't do any of the things normal-looking people do, we're non-people, so, I've discovered the assumption is that we lack emotions.

A pretty woman in a huge crowed of people with a beer soaked shirt and jeans being called profane names by a middle-aged loser? People rush to her aid, feel sorry for her and lambast the jerk. An ugly woman in a huge crowed of people with a beer soaked shirt and jeans being called profane names by a middle-aged loser? Hilarious.

As the crowd's reaction to Louis CK's bit about ugly people demonstrates, it's socially acceptable to laugh at ugly people because ugly people are mock-worthy and funny. 


1:08 PM

Tuesday, April 23, 2013  
I was recently asked, somewhat rhetorically, “What’s wrong with single men over the age of 35? Why are they all freaks, jerks or sociopaths?” You knocked on the wrong door for an answer to that question, sister. I know, and have dated, several men over the age of 35. And I felt your pain. I don’t know why 35 is the witching hour for men. I could throw out some conjecture, but I long ago concluded the why is irrelevant.

I also concluded that my expectations for men over the age of 35 are, well, kinda high. Maybe even unattainable. I expected them to have worked out their issues with their fathers or mothers. I expected them to have at least a germ of an idea of what they want out of life and to have set a few goals. I expected them to respect women. I expected them to own one decent quality suit and the understanding of why it’s important for a man over the age of 35 to own one decent quality suit. I expected them to have an emotional maturity level greater than an 18 year old. I expected them to have mastered at least basic manners. I expected them to have a few insights about their own personalities and how that shapes their interactions with others. I expected them to have graduated high school. So. As you can see, my expectations were way too high. The problem wasn’t men over the age of 35, the problem was me and my expectations. So I quit dating.

I suspect because I a) had such prolific and horrific dating experiences and b) gave up dating that people think I hate (or at least deeply dislike) men. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I don’t have a problem with men. I like men. Some of my best friends are men. I even have family members who are married to men. The problem I have regarding men is that I suck at dating. And the men I was romantically interested in were not romantically interested in me. But to reiterate, I do not hate men.

So with those disclaimers out of the way, here are a few reasons why single men over the age of 35 are jerks, creeps and sociopaths. This is based solely on my own research in the field.

He’s waiting for The One. Hey, aren’t we all? He has a list. A very long, detailed, finite list. Many professional counselors suggest putting thought into what characteristics you want in a mate, perhaps even making a list. This is especially helpful for people who find they date the same types of people over and over and over and over again, always resulting in relationship failure. Thinking about traits you want in a mate, before getting out there and dating, helps solidify your ideals so that you don’t spend time in relationships with people who aren’t really the best fit for your relationship goals. The problem with these lists is that men and women have very (very) different approaches. The top 10 items on men’s lists tend to be physical traits. The top 10 items on women’s lists tend to be personality traits. So, if a man with a long list asks you on a date, congratulations! You’ve already met a lot of his listed criteria. There are dozens, even hundreds or thousands of women this guy dismissed based on his list of physical traits alone. So, you are special to him. You are the right height and body type, you’re the right age, you possess the right eye color, hair color, hair style, and fashion sense. He has deemed you physically worthy and list approved. But. He still has that list. And it’s a long one. And very specific. Your fist date will probably seem more like a job interview. Use this as an opportunity to learn about him. You may have a list, too, so fire away, counter his questions with your own. If you’re allowed to proceed to date two, be aware that this guy is judging everything you do and say. He’s mentally referencing his list and assessing your behavior. If, after the second date, you still measure up to his list and he asks you out again, presume that he will expect some sort of sex on the third date. And it’s not just sex. He will be judging and rating your choice of underpinnings, your naked body and your performance. It’s safe to presume his list includes: very specific size and color of nipples, very specific color and formation of vulva, and don’t be surprised if he surreptitiously uses his fingers as calipers to measure your breasts, hips and bum because his list includes specific measurements for these body parts. You may think I’m exaggerating. But I know from personal experience that men have these lists and do not want to deviate from them. My nipples have been a deal breaker for at least three men. The shape of my breasts has also eliminated me from men’s list of contenders. (“Your tits looked great in clothes, but naked they’re not my cup of tea…”) My hair color, hair style and eye color have repeatedly been sources of contention on men’s dating lists. It’s easy to dismiss these men (and women) as shallow and picky and boring and not people you’d want to date anyway. But don’t be so quick to dismiss them. I know genuinely fantastic men who stuck to their lists and eventually found Her and they’re happily married. I know equally fantastic men who are single and are sticking to their lists. These men know what they want, they won’t compromise their standards (“I’m not going to settle!” is their battle cry) and they are willing to wait for her. She is a needle in a haystack but they’ll search until they find her. Which is why they’re over 35 and single.

He likes ‘em young. Real young. And pretty or cute. IQ is not relevant. The prime dating age range for men who prefer younger women is 22 – 26. If you are a 22 – 26 year old woman and you are interested in dating older men, you have a sea of men from which to choose. Some men who date much younger women will (eventually) choose one and marry her. But this typically does not hapen until the men are approaching the age of 50. Once they hit 50 they’ll compromise on age and consider dating women as old as 30, but no older. I don’t have much experience in this arena. When I was 21 I went out with a man who was 38. I thought he was younger, he thought I was older. When we found out the age difference (on the first date), the date ended awkwardly and abruptly. A lot of polite but tense conversation on the ride home. Niether one of us could get away fast enough because we both felt the age difference was creepy. We each felt creepy for not realizing the other’s age before going on the date. He was not a guy who wanted to date much younger women, and I was certainly not a woman who was looking for any of the things younger women who date older men want. So I can’t really contribute personal insight into the dynamic of those relationships. I have, however, met a lot of men over the age of 35 who will only date women in their early 20s. Obviously I didn’t date them, but I know these guys. My observation is that there’s some sort of agreement between both parties. An agreement where goods and services are exchanged in lieu of money. She goes to bars and parties with him, he buys her shoes and handbags and pays for her salon services. She gives him blow jobs, he pays her rent or buys her a car. That sort of thing. It’s crucial that actual currency never exchanges hands because then it would be nothing more than prostitution. Don’t believe me? Come to Chicago and spend a couple hours in the Viagra Triangle. (Google it) Both parties involved in these relationships steadfastly cling to the notion that theirs is a real relationship. And I dunno, I suppose some of them are real relationships. Not for me to judge. Men over the age of 35 who prefer much younger women don’t even see women over the age of 30. It’s as if they don’t exist. Which is why these guys are over 35 and single. At some point some of them will want to settle down, get married and have children. But it will be when they’re approaching 50 (or older) and they will marry a very attractive woman 15 – 20 years younger. Unless you’re a very attractive 20 something woman who has daddy issues or can tolerate having sex with a much older man as long as he’s paying for a nice place to live, a new car and lots of shopping trips and resort vacations, don’t waste your time pining for these guys. They’re over 35 and unmarried because that’s how they want to be.

He has religious or political convictions. When I was “out there” meeting men in Chicago one of my biggest challenges was the overwhelming majority of Catholics in Chicago. I met a lot of men, good guys, who dated all types of women, but when it came to selecting a wife they refused to even consider a woman who wasn’t Catholic. I find it ironic that many of these guys hadn’t stepped foot in a church in years, yet marrying a Catholic girl was a must for them. A lot of Jewish men will only consider marrying a Jewish woman. I had a friend who lived with a Jewish man for five years. He told her from the start that he would not marry her because she wasn’t Jewish. But he was perfectly okay with living with her until he decided he was ready to settle down. My friend was okay with this arrangement and in the end they made a killing on the condo they owned, and then sold, when my friend was ready to break up with him and find a man willing to marry her, regardless of her religion. Many men (and women) feel even more strongly about political views. My independent voter status was the death knell to many first dates. The fact that I would even consider listening to any point of view other than Democrat was more than those guys could handle. I may as well have told them I smoked crack, that I’d done time behind bars for aggravated assault, battery and check fraud, had herpes and five children whose fathers were unknown because I didn’t even know their names to track them down for a DNA test. Sure, I found out how intolerant they were, and that’s a good thing. I wasn’t interested in someone that self righteous and judgmental. And it’s good that they have such strong convictions. Except it narrows the dating pool considerably. If he’s over 35 and single, and seems like a great guy, it may be something as simple as his religious or political convictions. If you’re the “correct” religion or back the same political party, yay! you may have found yourself a winner.

He has alcohol/substance issues. You know how in college there’s a lot of partying? And you know how when you graduate and get a job you become less able and less interested in that level of partying? Some men and women never slow down on the partying. They somehow manage to maintain a job while drinking/drugging on weekends and even during the week. I’ve worked with a few alcoholics who drank at work. They performed their job responsibilities and casual coworkers didn’t have a clue they were drunk at work. One of my former coworkers spiked her ever-present Diet Coke with rum. Only a few of us knew. She did her job without error and met her deadlines. She had a drinking problem but it wasn’t a problem for us because it didn’t affect her work. I always wondered how much more she was capable of without the booze, but in our office it wouldn’t have mattered. She held a role with zero advancement opportunity. Maybe that’s why she drank at work. People are capable of astonishing feats when they’re drunk or on drugs, but ultimately being in a relationship with someone who is frequently drunk or stoned takes a toll. Eventually ultimatums are issued and eventually the relationship ends. If he’s over 35 and single, there may be alcohol or substance abuse issues. A cautionary tale: I saw my former alcoholic coworker at a concert a couple years ago. She didn’t recognize me because she was approximately one drink away from passing out. She was with friends who looked only slightly less drunk. They were “flirting” with every man who crossed their path. The guys either laughed at them or openly fondled them. Not exactly a great way to meet potential dates. She’s still single. As the song goes, she used to be pretty, but now she’s just pretty effed up. The booze has taken a serious toll on her life and looks. People who aren’t alcoholics or drug users generally don’t want to settle down with people who drink to access or use drugs. Guys, this goes for you, too.

He’s a bully. It may only take one date to discern this (best case scenario), or, sadly, it may take several months for his anger management/chauvinism/bigotry issues to become fully apparent. You’ll realize the “jokes” he makes about women, other ethnicities, handicapped people, his boss, his parents, your parents…aren’t funny. When you call him on it, or defend the person or group of people he’s “joking” about, he’ll become defensive and attempt to blame you. He’ll claim you have no sense of humor, or you’ve lost your sense of humor. He’ll use this on you when you break up – the problem, he’ll say, is that you’ve changed and have no sense of humor. The problem, actually, is that he’s a bully and a jerk. You’d think that would be easy to ascertain, but some of these guys can be quite stealthy. By the age of 35 they’ve offended enough women - enough people - to realize their “humor” isn’t always received well. They know their opinions are not socially acceptable. So they learn how to modify their behavior in social situations. Hence the “jokes.” Framing hatred as  humor is a common behavior/coping technique for bullies. They know they can’t say what they feel about women/other ethnicities/anyone who isn’t like him, but they really want to make their opinions known. In their minds, making a “joke” instead of a straightforward insult makes it okay. And if someone slates him on it, he can easily turn it back on the accuser: “Hey, obviously I was kidding! Sheesh, can’t you take a joke? Lighten up.” In a dating environment, eventually he will want to let down his guard. He will want to be himself. Unfortunately, his self is not someone you want to date. Which is what the other women he dated discovered. Which is why he’s over 35 and single. If you ask him about his past relationships his take will be that he broke up with all of the women in his past because they were flawed. Their universal flaw? They didn’t appreciate/understand his “humor.” It can take several dates or several months for him to unleash the full depth of his issues, which is why this type of guy is particularly troublesome. You think you’ve finally met a good one, maybe the one, and then blam! pow! out comes the bullying behavior and hatred toward other people. You may berate yourself for not seeing the signs earlier, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Once they reach the age of 35, they’ve perfected their craft. It would take someone who’s already dated a guy like this to pick up on the clues on the first or second date. The good news is that once you’ve dated a guy like this you will be more attuned to his personality type. Should you meet another stealth bully like this your antennae will pick up the signals earlier in the relationship and you can either discuss it or vamoose before he unleashes the full depth of his anger management/chauvinism/bigotry/hate. My observation is that men, people, with these issues don’t rehabilitate. They tend to not broaden their minds and hearts as they mature. They tend to become more angry at the world with each passing encounter. They believe the world is falling apart because their opinions about anyone who’s different from him aren’t accepted. He’ll scoff and blame political correctness (probably using air quotes) for the world not agreeing with his opinions about women, ethnicities other than his and his general hatred for anyone who isn’t exactly like him. And let’s just say you happen to agree with his opinions. Maybe you honestly believe all women are whores/bimbos/inferior to men in every way. Maybe you are threatened by other ethnicities. Maybe you carry a lot of hatred in general. Maybe you, too, make “jokes” about people who are different than you. It seems like you’re a perfect match! But beware: It’s only a matter of time before he aims his “jokes” at you. If he finds your personality agreeable, he will take aim at your body, face, hair…anything that he can “joke” about. Why? Because he’s a bully. He has issues. But he thinks everyone else is wrong and he’s right so he will never (ever) introspect and mature or change. 

He's cheap. And I don't mean frugal, thrifty or on a fixed income. Shopping for the best value, not spending money on lavish or trendy items, setting and sticking to a budget...those are admirable qualities. I'm talking about cheap in the tackiest, most selfish sense of the word. He leaves a dollar (or no) tip for every meal, no matter the price of the check - but you don't have to worry about that very often because he rarely dines at restaurants that don't have a drive-thru. He doesn't buy you a card, even an e card, for your birthday. He doesn't buy you presents, either. He won't go to a first run movie or a live concert. But here's the sinister catch about this guy: If someone else is paying (you, for instance) he turns into the monocle wearing rich guy in Monopoly. He's suddenly an arbiter of discriminating taste and refinement, sparing no expense. You discover he knows a lot about expensive Scotch, pricy restaurants and nice clothes. So you think,"He can't be cheap, he knows about expensive stuff, even has expensive taste. He must spend money sometime."  Wrong. He doesn't spend the money, but he'll happily let his friends buy drinks, his dates buy dinners and his mother buy his clothes. He'll mooch internet service from neighbors, pirate cable, steal toilet paper from work and do his laundry at his parents' (or your) place and conveniently "forget" his laundry detergent. He won't turn on lights at night and won't let you use a hair dryer or microwave. He's obsessed with money, and not in a good way. Which is why he's over 35 and single. If you're also a cheap mooch, perfect! You two will get along great.

He’s passive aggressive. And no, there is no “good” side to this. I’m not sure why it’s called passive aggression. The end result and desired affect is criticism. There’s nothing passive about the motivation or desired outcome. It's not constructive criticism, it's destructive criticism administered with a candy coating. At best he may have a witty sarcastic nature. At worst he’s a manipulative, emotionally immature, selfish jerk. Sarcasm can be a good way to diffuse a difficult situation. But what comes after the situation is diffused is what matters. If the sarcasm continues it is not being used properly. It’s being abused. I know some bona fide snobs. I’ve dated a few snobs. (Not for long.) My observation is that snobbery and passive aggression are conjoined twins. Sometime in the evolution of culture sarcasm became the elite set’s choice of humor. I suppose because it can sound polite and learned to those lacking education or culture savvy. It’s a way to make fun of less fortunate people to their faces while sounding like polite conversationalists. The rich are different and they get their jollies in weird ways. Those sarcastic witticisms can quickly turn into passive aggression. It’s funny on Jeeves and Wooster, but in a dating scenario it’s a soul sucking, life-force sapping buzzkill. Plus the non-stop passive aggressive digs will do a number on your self-esteem. Recovering from a relationship with a passive aggressive individual is a long road. Passive aggressive digs have a way of sneaking into ears and then covertly latching onto brain cells where they lie in wait, coiled and ready to strike when the moment’s right. Sometimes the right moment is weeks or months after the comment entered the ear. So you may be long broken up with the guy but his passive aggression is still lying in wait in your brain cells. Good luck with that, you’ll need it. If he’s over 35, single, and lobs a passive aggressive dig at you on the first date: There’s your answer to why he’s over 35 and single.

He’s Jekyll and Hyde. This is a more advanced form of passive aggression. He’s charming, polite, thoughtful and attentive. Most of the time. Especially in public. And extra especially around your friends and family. Everyone thinks you found a real keeper. And you do, too. Except. Well. There is just one thing. Or maybe two…when you’re alone with him he’s distant, quiet, perhaps even sullen. He says he needs down time and space. You’re okay with that because you need down time, too. Except. His down time is really down. As in downer. It may start out as occasional quiet, reading or watching television time, which is understandable. But it turns into all the time you’re alone together. You feel you are alone, together. Except when you’re in public or around your friends and family. Then he’s back to Mr. Perfect Boyfriend. Attentive, caring, holding your hand, tenderly stroking your face, giving you little smiles and affectionate glances, ( you think “he does find me attractive!”) championing you to your friends and family ( you think “he was listening when I told him about my work presentation!”) and is an all around great human being. He takes part in (and even initiates) lively conversations where he proves himself to be witty, intelligent, kind and insightful. You think, “He’s in a great mood tonight! I don’t want this night to end! I can’t wait to get home and take this to an intimate level! It’s gonna be great!” Then you get in the car, he waves good-bye to your hosts/friends/family, maybe even giving the horn a couple good natured toot-toots, you’re feeling all warm and fuzzy because you’re with this great guy, you turn the corner and…he goes quiet. His smile fades, fast. When you attempt to engage in conversation he gives monosyllabic responses or tells you he’s all talked out for the night and can you please just be quiet. You think, "this cannot possibly be the same guy from 10 minutes ago." If you attempt any sort of physical contact, a gentle hand on his shoulder or tender stroke of his hair or thigh, he rebuffs you. The message is loud and clear: You’re not getting anything more from him tonight. Mr. Perfect Boyfriend has left for the evening and you’re stuck with his twin brother, Mr. Asshole Boyfriend. If things turn intimate, it will only be on his terms. When and how he wants it. Don’t be surprised if it’s, well, all about him. He may throw you a mercy orgasm once in a while, especially if he senses that you’re growing weary of the huge chasm between his public and private personas. For reasons only these guys can explain, they actually want you as a girlfriend. Or they want a girlfriend and you’re it at the moment. Why the huge disparity in their behavior? Not a clue. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve dated more than one of these guys. I learned the lesson the first time around, but I gave two other men the benefit of the doubt. Big mistakes. The patterns of behavior were exactly the same. These guys may even commit, offering a very public, very romantic proposal. They will make a big show of declaring their love and commitment. And then…behind closed doors they don’t appear to care whether you’re there or not. They’re indifferent, apathetic, aloof, and withhold physical affection. Yes, this is depressive, even manic depressive behavior. And if they’re willing to seek counseling and perhaps even medicate themselves, then this guy may be the great catch that he seems in public. But be aware: This is also behavior of a controlling, manipulative, selfish jerk playing a game of deception. Because when you finally have enough of his private apathy toward you and break up with him, people will think you’re bonkers. “He’s such a great guy! Why would you break up with him? What’s wrong with you?” When you tell them about his behavior when you’re alone, people who haven’t encountered this type of person will find it difficult to believe Mr. Perfect Boyfriend is capable of such behavior. After all, he’s so attentive and supportive and starry eyed over you, how is it possible that he’s not that way all the time? You say, “Jekyll and Hyde my friends,” and they still think you’re nuts and aim their sympathy at your poor ex boyfriend. There’s a lot of psychology with this type of behavior, and I’m not professionally qualified to dissect and explain it. And really, the explanation is irrelevant. No one wants to be ignored by their significant other. No one wants to tread on eggshells around their significant other. No one wants to have to be in front of friends and family to receive signs of affection and interest from their significant other. If it truly is clinical depression, and you have the emotional fortitude to handle a relationship with someone who is depressed, even manically depressed, good for you. But just be certain, absolutely certain, that it is clinical depression and not just an immature game of control and manipulation. 

He's in a band/writing a book/suffering for his art. And bartending. Music, prose, art...these are great pursuits. When you're in college or in your 20s, these are fantastic outlets for creativity. And if someone is really dedicated to their art, success isn't the point. The pursuit is the point. And bartending can bring in a lot of cash. But unless there's a substantial trust fund at their disposal, after the age of 35 people, including men, have to decide what their priorities are. If their band, book or painting is the top priority, and bartending is the only form of income, what you have here is a man who is dedicated to his art. He is also dedicated to an alternative lifestyle, alternative meaning part time, non-steady jobs where the key words are "Flexible Schedule." He may want to settle down, especially with a woman who has a career that provides health insurance and a steady paycheck. Some women are happy to be the patron to these guys. (There are plenty of cautionary tales of women who supported men dedicated to their art only to be dumped when their man hit it big.) Other women feel they're never the top priority and end up feeling frustrated and used by an irresponsible flake. Just a little food for thought before you decide to not see him again: Kurt Cobain and Steven King were janitors and William S. Burroughs was an exterminator. (I always find it fascinating that Burroughs was an exterminator.)

Let’s talk about sex.

His penis is not what many women consider “adequate.” It’s small or uncircumcised (or circumcised if you live pretty much anywhere other than the US and aren’t Jewish) or in some way not what the women he previously dated like in a penis. Their loss, your gain. I’m always, still, surprised by how many women consider a small or (what they deem) odd penis a deal breaker. I know women who prefer to have sex with a man very early into the relationship, on date two, at least, because they want to know what kind of heat the man is packing before getting emotionally involved with him. If they discover it’s not to their liking they won’t go out with him again. Which I don’t understand. If the guy is truly not well endowed there are ways to compensate. If the guy is willing to experiment and is attentive to your needs, is his penis size really an issue? It takes a little creativity and an open mind, but, isn’t that part of the fun? This isn’t a sex advice column so I’ll let you do the research. But the sad and harsh reality for less or “differently” endowed men is that a lot of women would rather be with a jerk with a big, “normal” penis than a nice guy with a small one. Size (and shape and foreskin status) does matter to a lot of women. Guys, I’m sorry. I’m not condoning this and I don’t understand it. Women, if a man is over 35 and single and seems fantastic in every aspect, his penis may be the culprit. Decide if this matters to you and proceed accordingly.

He’s into a very specific sexual course of events. Any deviation from his step-by-step process will result in his inability to perform. On the plus side, he may be very efficient. And he knows what he likes and he knows what he wants. He will tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. This can actually be a good thing because there’s no guesswork involved. Presuming his process includes steps that benefit you, then it’s a matter of how much variety you like. The reason he’s over 35 and single may be that his previous girlfriends grew bored with his routine and didn’t want to deal with his lack of ability to perform in any capacity other than his specific process. If you’re not particularly experimental or if you prefer efficiency over creativity, this guy could be perfect for you. If you tend to be rigid and like organization and hate surprises, this guy is really the guy for you.

He, and his penis, are temperamental. He has extremely specific needs. He’s different from the step-by-step routine guy in that his needs, his very specific needs, change without warning. Unfortunately he won’t send a memo updating you on the changes because communication is not one of this guy’s strengths. If you don’t inherently know what those needs are he will say it’s not worth the effort. Yes, you are supposed to be a mind reader, or in this case a penis reader. When you ask him to fill you in on what he likes - because you are attentive and want a healthy sex life with him - he tells you that he doesn’t want to have to teach you. You should “just know” what he wants. But don’t expect him to “just know” what you want. You have a place in his plan, but, that place is when and where and how he wants you, not when, where or how you want him. If you’re intuitive, perhaps even a penis whisperer, and not particular about your needs, this could be a good guy for you. The reason he’s over 35 and single is because he’s moody or flaky and deems anything and anyone that doesn’t “just get it,” with no communication from him, “not worth the effort.” Chances are good his moodiness and lack of communication are not limited to the bedroom. Chances are he expects you to “just know” everything about him and accommodate him accordingly. This guy is a lot of work, especially for a guy who often deems people and activities, “not worth the effort.”

He’s into the kinky stuff. We’re talking foreign 8mm film kind of stuff. He seems like a decent guy, you go on a few dates, he’s a good conversationalist, he has interests, a job, a family, he’s interested in you…yeah, this guy is growing on you. He hasn’t pressured you for sex, even on the third date. You’re taking it slow and you’re both okay with that. You think maybe that’s why he’s still single. He likes to take a slow approach and a lot of women need more immediate signs of commitment. Slowly, as you date and get to know each other, things heat up in the bedroom. The first couple sessions are standard stuff. He’s attentive and takes his time to make sure you’re satisfied. But then, one evening, he breaks out the kinky stuff. And I’m not talking about a little dirty talk or a “unique” position. I’m talking props, special lighting, costumes, machines, rubber backed purple satin sheets, specially designed furniture, a couple different camera set ups, perhaps a chamber…Maybe you’re into it and that’s great. But be aware that it takes time and devotion to the cause for highly detailed and heavily propped sexual tastes to come to fruition. This guy has devoted a lot of time and effort to his sexual needs. It’s good that he knows what he likes and if he’s respectful of you and your body and he doesn’t physically harm you or verbally degrade you, there’s no harm in any of this (assuming everyone involved is a consenting adult human). And maybe this kind of kink is what your libido has been lacking. Rock on. But. Be warned: This guy has been with a lot of women. A lot of women. And maybe a few men. It’s also likely that he has an extensive porn collection on a special hard drive that he keeps in a closet safe. You may discover you’re into it, too. But if, after all the sexual experimentation, you’re ready for more emotional commitment from him, you may find that he’s not the marrying kind. At least not in the conventional sense. He may be an open marriage kind of guy. Are you an open marriage kind of gal? Do you want to have children? Do you want to raise those children in a home with that level of kink going on? He is not going to calm down sexually. He has very (very) specific needs and a yearning for experimentation. Curtailing his behaviors will leave him unfulfilled. Take him as is and don’t expect him to settle into a more standard sex life. If you can’t see yourself taking part in his brand of kink for the long term, you’re not alone. And you have your answer as to why he’s over 35 and single.

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